Before doing anything else, attach an external monitor - if there's a good image on it, then the problem is almost certainly with the display panel, not the video chip.
There's no evidence nVidia ever fixed these chips - so whatever you'd spend on a replacement board is indeed better spent on a replacement system - any 4-year old notebook is on borrowed time these days, particularly one with a video chip with as checkered a history as this one has had.
It is a tough situation to be in, especially since a good deal of the issues are speculation.
Keep a little salt next to you when you read about things online, as most things you read would go good with a couple grains of it. :)
Also, keep in mind that most of the people who voiced their concerns about gpu and other issues, typically account for a very small portion of actual consumers using them. There are issues that I have known to be widespread, but if your system has been running long enough to be out of warranty, then it is unlikely that it started with a faulty chip.
So any replacement done should not come with a faulty chip either. It is hard to imagine a company knowingly sending out faulty tech, because it inevitably ends up causing increased overhead costs for support and warranty replacements. However, there are definitely plenty of known issues that are always cropping up and needed addressing, so this is not to say that your chip is not having the issue here.
Aside from general info you have found, what leads you to believe it is the gpu?
Have you tried any of the video outputs?
Are you getting startup sound, such as the windows boot sound, outside of the normal boops and beeps of the system?
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I tried an external display and still nothing. It isn't the LCD. I'm not getting anything apart from the blue LEDs lighting up and the fan turning on for a short time. I'm nearly certain the problem is with the nvidia chip as it is demonstrating nearly all symptoms of those that have had the nvidia problem. I don't know a ton about computers but it is my best guess as to what is wrong as I've been researching this a lot. Thanks for the quick reply, do you have any other ideas as to what it could be apart from the gpu?
The issue could very well be an issue with the GPU but if you are also not getting sounds then there may be other issues. It is difficult the troubleshoot on limited information, but it does sound as if there may actually be a motherboard issue.
Have you recently done any changes, such as new RAM, or anything else?
Id also recommend trying to connect to the external monitor again, and hitting FN+F8 to switch displays.
No, I haven't done anything to the computer. The computer experienced the same problem twice before, but after I let it sit, it would start up again when I tried. This time it won't however. Do you have any suggestions on possible approaches to getting this fixed as cheaply as possible? Thank you for your quick responses! I really appreciate them!
The least expensive fix is to buy a mainboard and replace it yourself. They're not as expensive as they were:
However, bear in mind that there are many in the electrical engineering community who believe the problem was never fixed - that is, anything you buy will simply fail again. The best you'll get is a 90-day warranty - so you may wind up paying $160 for a repair that lasts less than a year.
If you so choose, I would recommend having the issue fixed by Dell as it can come with better warranty support, but its a matter of applying money that would fix the issue to the issue or to a new system.
As for having the same issue before, would your system start up normally, or would you get any error messages upon booting up?
The laptop upon starting up, started up completely normal those previous two times. I was optimistic in thinking that the issue wasn't going to cause any permanent problems but obviously that wasn't the case.
I hate to pay dell 59 dollars just to tell me what is wrong when I'm relatively certain what the problem is. And I'm sure it will cost an arm and a leg to get replaced, but my biggest concern was whether or not the new motherboards would still contain the defective nvidia chips.
There is never a guarantee that you wont experience similar issues. I have never known a bit of tech to not have known issues. Whether or not those known issues impact your use, are not always easy to predict.
At this point, it really is up to you if you want them to check it out and try and fix it. If you have the money I would recommend having them check it out. However, there are other options such as third party computer repair shops that can check it out as well. However, that options is a sort of "do at your own risk" because not all shops warranty their work, or will fix other issues they cause.
Personally, I would say to invest in a new system. Your model can be bought new for a few hundred dollars, and including the diagnostic fee of 59 you mentioned it would probably cost as much to get it fixed as it would be to buy a used or refurbished model. It is just how tech is. Kinda like how cars get "totaled" even though they can still be repaired, simply because the repair costs outweigh the cost of buying a new one.
Thanks for the help. I really enjoyed this computer apart from this problem. Unfortunately I don't think I will ever deal with dell again. I have been less than impressed with their customer service and I won't support a company that deals poorly with their customers. Thanks again though and God bless
All the major manufacturers who used these chips had and have the same problem. They fail - because of faulty design. Doesn't matter - Dell, Apple, HP, Lenovo - I've seen the chips fail in every make of system in which they were used.
Im sorry to see you are not getting an easy resolution. Please, if you do decide that you need further help do not hesitate to send me a message :)
If it still starts sometimes and there are no visible defects showing on the screen, then it probably is not the chip. When these fail, they fail because of the use of a fautly material that has the wrong expansion characteristics and the chip fails because of breakage somewhere of the chip. Intermittant failures as you are having could be due to a bad connection. You could go inside and try unplugging every connection to see if anything helps. This includes the memory chips.
It really doesn't make sense to pay $400-500 dollars to Dell for this. A new Dell with better performance than the M1530 is not too expensive. Mine failed at 3 1/2 years and needed two mother board replacements. The firsat one installed by a tech on site was also bad, so a second was repalced afetr mailing it in. I purchased an extended warranty because of this possibility, and it was worth it.
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Well it happened twice before, but it is permanently done for at this point. Thank you though.
I was wondering what you ended up doing with your system. I have the same issue, the computer boots up the fan and hcc are running but the screen is black. Tried connecting to an external monitor with no luck. The best fix I could find online is to heat up the gpu with a heat gun, which is something I'm not interested in doing, in particular because it's not a full fix.
With Dell it seems my only options are
1) Pay $59 for them to diagnose it, not sure what happens after
2) Send the computer in, pay $179 and then if it's a motherboard issue pay additional charges for replacement of parts
None of the above sound too appealing, since it's a 4 year old laptop. Please let me know what you ended up doing and if you were able to resolve the issue.